Anyone who’s ever held a baby girl in her arms will relate

By Marisa Cohen
Updated September 20, 2017
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If you thought the snapshot Serena Williams shared last week of her brand-new baby girl Alexis Olympia was cute, wait until you see the latest photo she posted on Instagram of her daughter. The beautiful newborn is swathed not in blush pink or pastel yellow, but a fiery red that says, “I am baby, hear me roar!”

But in an even more powerful statement, Williams linked the photo—which she posted next to a picture of herself in tennis whites, showing off Mom and baby’s matching biceps—to a letter she wrote to her own mom, Oracene Price. (No surprise that she posted the letter on Reddit; her fiancé Alexis Ohanian founded the site.)

“You are one of the strongest women I know. I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter!) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body. I don't know how I would react if she has to go through what I've gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day.”

Williams goes on to recount all the insults she has publicly suffered through in her remarkable career (including a record 23 Grand Slam tennis championships): critics have said that she looks like a man, must be using drugs, or doesn’t belong in women’s tennis at all because of her muscular body. Now that she has a strong daughter of her own, she says she can’t imagine how her mother put up with all that hate.

“But mom, I'm not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer, and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman,” Williams wrote. “I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like. We don't all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!”

It’s too early to tell if little Alexis will carry on the tennis-champ tradition of her mom and her Aunt Venus, but she clearly has a great start in life, just the latest in a long line of body-proud, supportive, and powerful women.